book cover of An Elegant Woman
Added by 5 of our members

An Elegant Woman

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
For fans of Mary Beth Keane and Jennifer Egan, this powerful, moving multigenerational saga from National Book Award finalist Martha McPhee—ten years in the making—explores one family’s story against the sweep of 20th century American history.

Drawn from the author’s own family history, An Elegant Woman is a story of discovery and reinvention, following four generations of women in one American family. As Isadora, a novelist, and two of her sisters sift through the artifacts of their forebears’ lives, trying to decide what to salvage and what to

toss, the narrative shifts to a winter day in 1910 at a train station in Ohio. Two girls wait in the winter cold with their mother—the mercurial Glenna Stewart—to depart for a new life in the West. As Glenna campaigns in Montana for women’s suffrage and teaches in one-room schoolhouses, Tommy takes care of her little sister, Katherine: trapping animals, begging, keeping house, cooking, while Katherine goes to school. When Katherine graduates, Tommy makes a decision that will change the course of both of their lives.

A profound meditation on memory, history, and legacy, An Elegant Woman follows one woman over the course of the 20th century, taking the reader from a drought-stricken farm in Montana to a yellow Victorian in Maine; from the halls of a psychiatric hospital in London to a wedding gown fitting at Bergdorf Goodman; from a house in small town Ohio to a family reunion at a sweltering New Jersey pig roast. Framed by Isadora’s efforts to retell her grandmother’s journey—and understand her own—the novel is an evocative exploration of the stories we tell ourselves, and what we leave out.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Martha McPhee has outdone herself with this irresistibly lively, worldly-wise, wonderfully imagined novel, wherein the American art of self-invention is explored with an clear eye to the price it exacts. All the characters are richly realized—none more so than the narrator, who regards her family myths with amused skepticism, tenderness and a consistently engaging intelligence." - Phillip Lopate


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Martha McPhee's An Elegant Woman

Hardback Editions

July 2020 : USA Library Binding

Title: An Elegant Woman (Wheeler Large Print Book Series)
Author(s): Martha McPhee
ISBN: 1-4328-8055-1 / 978-1-4328-8055-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Wheeler Publishing Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


June 2020 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: An Elegant Woman: A Novel
Author(s): Martha McPhee
ISBN: 1-5011-7957-8 / 978-1-5011-7957-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

June 2020 : Audio CD
thumb

Title: An Elegant Woman
Author(s): Martha McPhee
ISBN: 1-79710-993-6 / 978-1-79710-993-0
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


June 2020 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: An Elegant Woman: A Novel
Author(s): Martha McPhee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   


June 2020 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: An Elegant Woman: A Novel
Author(s): Martha McPhee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2020 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: An Elegant Woman: A Novel
Author(s): Martha McPhee
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA